School gardens plant seeds of nutrition knowledge for all ages

Beds of onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers — along with numerous other vegetables — line the back garden at Coronado High School.

Some items are peeking out from the dirt and are ready to be picked while others need a little more time.

“Why don’t you go and pull one out?” asked Gary Manning, a special education teacher at the school, 1001 Coronado Center Drive. He has been overseeing the garden for the two years it’s existed.

Student Keenan Davis surveyed the onions and gave one a big tug, extracting it from the soil.

“Wow, you can really smell that,” Davis said, putting the onion in his plastic bag.

The garden is one of many in the Clark County School District. According to Cheryl Wagner, coordinator for the district’s School-Community Partnership Program, there are more than 120 school gardens across the Las Vegas Valley.

While they might vary on curriculum and purpose, it comes down to hands-on learning for students of every grade level. Learning gardens have been used by schools in the district for about 15 years, Wagner said.

“It helps enrich what teachers are teaching during the day,” Wagner said. “There has been a lot of research out there that learning gardens are great for teaching science, health and nutrition.”

If a school expresses interest in creating a garden, it can reach out to the district with a specific vision for why it needs one.

General education classes in elementary, middle and high schools use the gardens differently and tailor the lessons depending on the class.

“All lessons are correlated with the Nevada Academic Content Standards,” Wagner said.

But some have variations on the classroom environment. Wagner said some schools have even created gardens specifically for after-school clubs and programming.

Manning started the garden at Coronado in April 2014. Students in his special education class visit it two to three times per week, planting, watering, maintaining and harvesting several beds of produce along with 28 fruit trees, including apples, lemons, plums, peaches and pomegranates.

Each school also determines how to use the products it grows. Students in Manning’s class often try the variety of produce.

On one morning in the garden, a few strawberries started to peek through the patch, giving a couple of the students a chance to pluck them and have a taste.

It wasn’t the first time they have tried their work.

“When we had Brussels sprouts, we took them back to the classroom and cooked them,” Manning said. “They loved them.”

Manning said he will often send some of the vegetables home with students.

A majority of the crops will be harvested in May to be used at a farmers market. Manning said a few other schools with gardens plan to participate with Coronado.

Wagner said a few schools also have partnered with local restaurants to provide produce.

Through their work in the garden, Manning’s students learn job-training skills, and Manning added that, though Clark County may not have a lot of gardening jobs, it comes down to the basics.

“If I can teach them to listen or follow instructions, that is key,” he said.

Manning hopes to expand the garden’s mission to include general education students as well.

At McCaw Elementary School, 330 Tin St., the school’s garden is used by all students. Principal Jennifer Furman-Bornsaid said the school was able to create the garden with the help of the Kasner Family Foundation.

“The garden incorporates three different components: a garden classroom, a garden enrichment club, and a chef in school program,” she said.

The school has brought in farmers and chefs to help teach students about maintaining the garden and what certain items are and how to use them at home.

McCaw is finishing up its first growing season, with anything from peas to cilantro.

In addition to science and nutrition, the garden also has been used to teach math.

“Students have to figure out how far apart they have to plant each item,” Furman-Bornsaid said. “So they get their rulers out and calculate so it’s planted in just the right spot. (The garden) bridges all the content together.”

She said there are plans to expand at some point, which could be anything from planting fruit trees to adding tables and developing an outdoor classroom.


To reach Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle, email or call 702-387-5201. Find him on Twitter:@mjlyle.

Vegas Homeless Remembered
Las Vegas vigil remembers 179 homeless people who died over the past year in Clark County. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A look inside Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory
Tesla's Gigafactory east of Reno produces the batteries that fuel the company's electric cars. Production has created more than 7,000 jobs, and the campus that includes one of the largest buildings in the world is expected to triple in size by the time it is completed. Tesla Vice President Chris Lister leads a tour of the facility. (Bill Dentzer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Garnet Interchange Ribbon Cutting
The Nevada Department of Transportation celebrated the completion of the $63 million I-15-US 93 Garnet Interchange project. The project includes a modified diverging diamond interchange and a 5-mile widening of US 93.
State Foresters Hunt for Record Trees
Urban foresters from the Nevada Division of Forestry hunt for record setting trees.
Rick Davidson directs NFR satellite feed
Rick Davidson directs the Wrangler NFR's live satellite feed from a production trailer outside the Thomas & Mack Center. (Patrick Everson)
Scott Boras, Bryce Harper's agent, speaks to media at baseball's winter meetings
Baseball agent Scott Boras updates media on the contract negotiations of his client Bryce Harper during baseball's winter meetings at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Achievement School District
The achievement district faced strong opposition from traditional schools back in its beginnings in 2016. But with schools like Nevada Rise and Nevada Prep, it's slowly and steadily growing. Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State QB on record-breaking receiver
Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion talks record-setting receiver KeeSean Johnson. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The annual 'Shop with a Cop' event at Target
This year’s "Shop with a Cop" event gave about 40 children the chance to shop at Target alongside a North Las Vegas Police officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Bizutesfaye
Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like